BAGHDAD, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki on Tuesday sacked some senior security officers for their failing to halt the advance of Sunni insurgent groups, a statement issued by his office said.
"We have decided to punish a number of officers who failed in the performance of their professional and national duties," Maliki said in the statement.
Maliki fired Lieutenant General Mehdi Sabih al-Gharawi, commander of Nineveh Operations Command, his deputy Major General Abdul Rahman Handhal, as well as Chief of Staff and Brigadier General Hassan Abdul Razak, and will take legal actions against them, according to the statement.
The prime minister also fired Brigadier General Hidayat Abdul Rahim, commander of the army's 3rd infantry division. Rahim has been "referred to the military court for his trial in absentia for his escape from the battlefield to an unknown destination."
The statement said that further instructions would be issued later to sack more military leaders and bring them to justice.
Maliki's move came after thousands of Iraqi soldiers and officers fled their posts in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh last Tuesday, which paved the way for Sunni militants, including those who are linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, an al-Qaida offshoot, to seize the provincial city of Mosul and then large parts of provinces of Salahudin and Diyala.
BAGHDAD, June 17 (Xinhua) -- At least 12 people were killed and 47 others wounded in separate bomb explosions in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Thursday, a police source said.
Seven civilians were killed and 31 others injured when a car bomb exploded near a market in Shiite-predominant Sadr City district in northern Baghdad. The huge blast destroyed several shops and damaged several nearby cars, the source said on condition of anonymity. Full story
DAMASCUS, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's current crisis with the jihadist groups could play out good for Syria if the international community decides to battle terrorism in Iraq, as the powers can't fight the radical groups in Iraq and leave them active in Syria, analysts said.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaida breakaway group, has recently made surprising advances in Iraq, seizing considerable swathes of land in the troubled country. The ISIL has also been active in Syria, mainly in the northeastern al- Raqqa province all the way to the eastern oil-rich region of Deir al-Zour bordering Iraq. Full story
BAGHDAD, June 16 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi security forces on Monday take back a city in western province of Anbar from militants, while the Sunni militants took full control of a city in northern part of the country, a security and an official said.
The Iraqi army, police and border guards fought sporadic clashes with gunmen in the city of Qaim, some 330 km northwest of the capital Baghdad, and took over the city, according to a police source in Anbar province. Full story
BAQUBA, Iraq, June 17 (Xinhua) -- A total of 28 Sunni militants and two policemen were killed in sporadic overnight battles across Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, provincial security sources said on Tuesday.
Hundreds of Sunni militants, including the militants linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaida offshoot, attacked the western suburbs of the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, and clashed fiercely with the security forces, Major General Jamil al-Shimary, Diyala's provincial police chief told Xinhua. Full story